List of defunct and relocated National Hockey League teams

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Patrick Roy helped the Avalanche franchise win its first Stanley Cup during their first season of play in Colorado.[1]

The National Hockey League (NHL) is a professional men's ice hockey league, consisting of 30 member clubs in North America: 23 in the United States and seven in Canada. It was founded in 1917 following the suspension of its predecessor league, the National Hockey Association (NHA).[2] The league is considered to be one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada.[3] The Stanley Cup, the oldest professional sports trophy in North America, is awarded annually to the league champion.[4] The NHL Board of Governors review and approve the relocation of any member club.[5] Each team appoints an individual or individuals to represent their team on the Board of Governors.[6] A majority vote (more than half) is needed for relocation of a club.[7] Clubs considered permanently relocated moved out of their respective home territories, which includes the city that they were located in, plus 50 miles of the city's corporate limits.[6]

Under the constitution of the NHL, membership in the NHL is on a partnership basis, each partner holding a "franchise" from the League for the operation of a hockey club in its designated city.[8] The franchise can out-live teams located in different cities. For example, the Kansas City Scouts, Colorado Rockies, and the New Jersey Devils are one franchise. A franchise's history includes the records of competition won in different cities, as differently-named teams. Naming and team logos and designs are registered with the league. The current Ottawa Senators and Winnipeg Jets had to get the formal permission of the league members to use the name of the previous franchise that had used the team nickname. The league considers the history of the current Senators to not include the original Senators; the Jets' franchise history includes the Atlanta Thrashers' history, not the first Winnipeg Jets.

There are 19 defunct and relocated NHL teams. The Montreal Wanderers, original Ottawa Senators, and the Quebec Bulldogs had played in the NHA before joining the NHL; Quebec joined the NHL two years later as the Athletics.[9] The Pittsburgh Pirates played in the US Amateur Hockey Association as the Pittsburgh Yellow Jackets before joining the NHL in 1925.[10] The first NHL team to disband was the Wanderers, citing the lack of available players due to World War I.[11] The first team to relocate was the Athletics, who relocated to Hamilton, Ontario to become the Hamilton Tigers. The NHL president at the time, Frank Calder, stripped the franchise from owner Mike Quinn and sold it to a Hamilton-based company.[12] Three franchises became defunct due to the Great Depression: the Philadelphia Quakers, the St. Louis Eagles, and the Montreal Maroons. During their time in the NHL, the Senators and Maroons both won the Stanley Cup championship multiple times, with four and two respectively. The Brooklyn Americans was the last team to become defunct in the NHL. The franchise was struggling financially, and due to the lack of players via World War II, was suspended prior to the 1942–43 season. The franchise formally ceased in 1946.[13] The Americans departure reduced the number of teams to six. This began what became known as the Original Six era of the NHL.

The Original Six era ended when the NHL expanded twofold in 1967. Two teams from the expansion—the California Golden Seals and the Minnesota North Stars—relocated to other cities. The Golden Seals moved to Cleveland after nine years in the San Francisco Bay Area to become the Cleveland Barons; this was the first time in four decades the NHL approved a franchise relocation.[14] Two years later, after failed overtures towards merging with the Washington Capitals and the Vancouver Canucks, the Barons merged with the North Stars.[15] The Barons are the only NHL franchise to merge operations with another franchise.[16] The North Stars relocated to Dallas in 1993 to become the Dallas Stars.[17]

After six additional expansion teams, the merger of the Cleveland Barons with the Minnesota North Stars, and the NHL–WHA merger, the league had expanded to 21 teams by 1979. Three of the four teams from the NHL–WHA merger relocated to other cities: the Quebec Nordiques, the original Winnipeg Jets, and the Hartford Whalers.[18] The Nordiques became the Colorado Avalanche in 1995, while the Jets became the Phoenix Coyotes in 1996, with the Whalers becoming the Carolina Hurricanes a year later. The Winnipeg Jets identity was revived in 2011, when a Winnipeg-based company received approval from the league to purchase the struggling Atlanta Thrashers and relocate them to Winnipeg for the 2011–12 season.[19] Out of the seven active relocated franchises in the NHL, two have not yet won the championship: the Coyotes and the Jets.[20]

Most of the metropolitan areas that have hosted relocated or defunct teams have been given another NHL team. Montreal, Quebec City and Atlanta all have two defunct or relocated teams with the Wanderers and Maroons, the Athletics and Nordiques, and the Flames and Thrashers, respectively. Philadelphia (Philadelphia Flyers), Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh Penguins), and St. Louis (St. Louis Blues) gained teams during the 1967 expansion. After losing the Americans, two more teams have been added into the New York metropolitan area: the New York Islanders in 1972 and the New Jersey Devils in 1982. Other former host-metropolitan areas of NHL teams that have been given another team include: San Francisco Bay Area (San Jose Sharks in 1991), Ottawa (current Ottawa Senators in 1992), Denver (Colorado Avalanche in 1995), Minneapolis – Saint Paul (Minnesota Wild in 2000), and Winnipeg (current Jets in 2011).[21]

Defunct and relocated teams[edit]

First First year in the NHL
Last Last year in the NHL
Record Win–loss–tie–overtime record
Win% Winning percentage
PA NHL (1918–1926) / Stanley Cup playoff (1927–) appearances
SC Stanley Cup wins
* Denotes active franchise
Team First Last Relocated to Seasons Record Win% PA SC Reason for relocation/disbandment Reference
Montreal Wanderers 1917 1918[g] Defunct 1 1–5–0 .167 0 0 Lack of available players due to World War I and arena burned down[11] [22]
Quebec Athletic Club 1919 1920 Hamilton Tigers 1 4–20–0 .167 0 0 Sold to a Hamilton-based company[12] [23]
Hamilton Tigers 1920 1925 Defunct 5 47–78–1 .377 0 0 Ceased due to players' strike; players were bought by the New York Americans.[24] [25]
Pittsburgh Pirates[a] 1925 1930 Philadelphia Quakers 5 67–122–23 .370 2 0 Financial struggle during the Great Depression[10] [26]
Philadelphia Quakers 1930 1931 Defunct 1 4–36–4 .136 0 0 Financial struggle during the Great Depression[10] [27]
Ottawa Senators[b] 1917 1934 St. Louis Eagles 16[h] 258–221–63 .534 9 4 Financial struggle during the Great Depression[28] [29]
St. Louis Eagles 1934 1935 Defunct 1 11–31–6 .292 0 0 Financial struggle during the Great Depression[30] [31]
Montreal Maroons 1924 1938 Defunct 14 271–260–91 .509 11 2 Financial struggle during the Great Depression[32] [33]
Brooklyn Americans[c] 1925 1942 Defunct 17 255–402–127 .406 5 0 Financial struggle, plus lack of players due to World War II; formally ceased in 1946.[13] [34]
California Golden Seals[d] 1967 1976 Cleveland Barons 9 182–401–115 .343 2 0 In search of better financial conditions; Cleveland is the hometown of minority owner George Gund III.[35] [36]
Kansas City Scouts 1974 1976 Colorado Rockies 2 27–110–23 .241 0 0 Financial struggle; sold to a group of investors with the intention to move.[37] [38]
Cleveland Barons 1976 1978 Minnesota North Stars (merge) 2 47–87–26 .375 0 0 Both teams with financial struggle[15] [36]
Atlanta Flames 1972 1980 Calgary Flames* 8 268–260–108 .506 6 0 Financial struggle; sold to Nelson Skalbania with the intention to move to Calgary.[39] [40]
Colorado Rockies[e] 1976 1982 New Jersey Devils* 6 113–281–86 .325 0 0 Sold to John McMullen; New Jersey is the home state of McMullen.[41] [38]
Minnesota North Stars 1967 1993 Dallas Stars* 26 758–970–334 .449 17 0 In search of better financial conditions[17][42] [43]
Quebec Nordiques 1979 1995 Colorado Avalanche* 16 497–599–160 .459 9 0 Financial struggle; sold to a Denver-based group.[44] [45]
Winnipeg Jets[f] 1979 1996 Arizona Coyotes* 17 506–660–172 .442 11 0 Sold to a group of investors with the intention to move in search of better financial conditions.[46] [47]
Hartford Whalers 1979 1997 Carolina Hurricanes* 18 534–709–177 .438 8 0 In search of better financial conditions[48] [49]
Atlanta Thrashers 1999 2011 Winnipeg Jets* 11[i] 342–437–45–78 .447 1 0 Financial struggle; sold to a Winnipeg-based company.[19] [50]

Notes[edit]

Map of defunct and relocated teams[edit]

Winnipeg Jets (1972–96) Minnesota North Stars Quebec Bulldogs Quebec Nordiques California Golden Seals Atlanta Flames Atlanta Thrashers St. Louis Eagles Kansas City Scouts Kansas City Scouts Colorado Rockies (NHL) Pittsburgh Pirates (NHL) Pittsburgh Pirates (NHL) Cleveland Barons (NHL) Cleveland Barons (NHL) Philadelphia Quakers Philadelphia Quakers Ottawa Senators (original) Ottawa Senators (original) Montreal Maroons Montreal Wanderers Hartford Whalers New York Americans Hamilton Tigers (ice hockey)
Map of the defunct and relocated NHL teams; the team names are clickable.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kevin Shea, ed. (February 15, 2008). "One on One with Patrick Roy". HHOF.com. Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  2. ^ Holzman 2002, p. 159
  3. ^ Darren Everson (May 7, 2009). "The Four Sports Commissioners Weigh In". The Wall Street Journal. p. D9. Retrieved April 30, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Stanley Cup History". Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved May 8, 2011. 
  5. ^ McGran, Kevin (June 6, 2009). "NHL`s secret constitution revealed". Toronto Star. Retrieved May 17, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Constitution of the National Hockey League". The Star (Toronto). Retrieved May 17, 2011. 
  7. ^ Wiebe, Ken (May 23, 2011). "NHL return remains on ice". Edmonton Sun. Retrieved May 27, 2011. 
  8. ^ NHL Constitution, p. 2
  9. ^ Pincus 2006, p. 24
  10. ^ a b c Bouchette, Ed (May 2, 1999). "Ice Age". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved April 30, 2011. 
  11. ^ a b McFarlane, Brian. "Early Leagues and the Birth of the NHL". National Hockey League. Retrieved April 30, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b Holzman 2002, p. 230
  13. ^ a b McFarlane 1990, p. 43
  14. ^ McFarlane 1990, p. 144
  15. ^ a b McFarlane 1990, p. 163
  16. ^ "10 Sports Franchises That Have Gone Bankrupt: 1978 Cleveland Barons". CNBC. Retrieved May 15, 2011. 
  17. ^ a b Montville, Leigh (April 19, 1993). "Spleen for Green". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved May 12, 2011. 
  18. ^ Willes, Ed (2004). The Rebel League: The Short and Unruly Life of the World Hockey Association. McClelland & Stewart. ISBN 0-7710-8947-3. 
  19. ^ a b "NHL Board of Governors officially approve Atlanta Thrashers’ relocation to Winnipeg". NBC Sports. Associated Press. June 21, 2011. Retrieved June 21, 2011. 
  20. ^ "Stanley Cup Champions and Finalists". National Hockey League. Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Teams". National Hockey League. Retrieved April 30, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Montreal Wanderers Franchise Index". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 30, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Quebec Bulldogs Franchise Index". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 30, 2011. 
  24. ^ Pincus 2006, p. 35
  25. ^ "Hamilton Tigers Franchise Index". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 30, 2011. 
  26. ^ "Pittsburgh Pirates Franchise Index". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 30, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Philadelphia Quakers Franchise Index". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 30, 2011. 
  28. ^ "No NHL Hockey Team for Ottawa Next Winter". The Ottawa Evening Citizen. April 7, 1934. p. 1. 
  29. ^ "Ottawa Senators Franchise Index". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 30, 2011. 
  30. ^ "St Louis Out of Title Hunt: League Buys Franchise Splits Players Among Remaining Eight Clubs". Leader-Post. October 16, 1935. Retrieved May 18, 2011. 
  31. ^ "St. Louis Eagles Franchise Index". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 30, 2011. 
  32. ^ Coleman, Charles L. (1969). The Trail of the Stanley Cup, Vol II. Progressive Publications. 
  33. ^ "Montreal Maroons Franchise Index". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 30, 2011. 
  34. ^ "New York Americans Franchise Index". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 30, 2011. 
  35. ^ Bass, Alan (2011). The Great Expansion: The Ultimate Risk That Changed the NHL Forever. p. 83. ISBN 1-4502-8605-4. 
  36. ^ a b "Cleveland Barons Franchise Index". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 30, 2011. 
  37. ^ "Scout Move Almost Complete". Leader-Post. Associated Press. July 16, 1976. Retrieved May 27, 2011. 
  38. ^ a b "New Jersey Devils Franchise Index". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 30, 2011. 
  39. ^ "Flames Sold, To Move to Calgary". The Palm Beach Post. May 24, 1980. Retrieved May 18, 2011. 
  40. ^ "Calgary Flames Franchise Index". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 30, 2011. 
  41. ^ McFarlane 1990, p. 206
  42. ^ "The 35 Biggest Moments in Modern Dallas History". D Magazine. December 16, 2009. Retrieved April 30, 2011. 
  43. ^ "Dallas Stars Franchise Index". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 30, 2011. 
  44. ^ Deacon, James (June 5, 1995). "Nordiques Move to Colorado". Maclean's. Retrieved April 30, 2011. 
  45. ^ "Colorado Avalanche Franchise Index". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 30, 2011. 
  46. ^ "Phoenix isn't only city interested in Winnipeg Jets". The Daily Courier. December 3, 1995. p. 2B. Retrieved April 30, 2011. 
  47. ^ "Phoenix Coyotes Franchise Index". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 30, 2011. 
  48. ^ Rabinovitz, Jonathan (March 27, 1997). "Another Blow to Hartford: Whalers to Leave, Rejecting Arena Offer". The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2011. 
  49. ^ "Carolina Hurricanes Franchise Index". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 30, 2011. 
  50. ^ "Atlanta Thrashers Franchise Index". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved June 1, 2011. 
  51. ^ "1917-18 NHL Season Summary". Hockey-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 30, 2011. 
  52. ^ *Wong, John Chi-Kit (2005). Lords of the Rinks: The Emergence of the National Hockey League, 1875–1936. Toronto, Ontario: University of Toronto Press. p. 130. ISBN 0-8020-8520-2. 
  53. ^ *Burnside, Scott (February 16, 2005). "Lockout's future holds myriad possibilities". ESPN.com (ESPN Internet Ventures). Retrieved April 18, 2013. 

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External links[edit]